On 15 November 2010, amendments were made to the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) which made it an offence to carry out certain ‘mining purposes’ without holding a mining lease that was in force over the relevant land.  

The relevant ‘mining purposes’ are defined as:

  • the construction, maintenance or use of any reservoir, dam (including a tailings dam), drain or water race, and
  • the removal, stockpiling or depositing of overburden, ore or tailings to the extent that it is associated with mineral extraction or mine beneficiation.

Mining purposes that had commenced prior to the above amendment coming into force on 15 November 2010 could rely on transitional arrangements to allow them to continue, provided that the person carrying out the activity obtained a mining lease before 15 November 2015.  

By way of order dated 9 September 2015 the Minister has extended this transitional arrangement by exempting persons carrying out the above mining purposes from the requirement to obtain a mining lease where:

  • the mining purpose was carried out, or in the course of construction, immediately prior to 15 November 2010, and
  • the mining purpose has not been abandoned for a continuous period exceeding twelve months since 15 November 2010 (other than repair or maintenance).

This exemption will cease to have effect on 15 November 2017.